‘One day I won’t find a grave left for me’: RT talks to man living in Damascus cemetery
“My home has become this [cemetery],” Abdo, from Ein Tarma, a suburb of Damascus, told RT’s Lizzie Phelan. “I am displaced, whether a mortar hits or not, I am going to die either way.”
2. works & lives in this cemetery in an area that is shelled frequently. Abdo: "if a missile hits here, I will... pic.twitter.com/M6ZUht3VfE— Lizzie Phelan (@LizziePhelan) November 1, 2015
Abdo survives on the tips the relatives of the people buried in the cemetery give him for watering the graves. The caretaker knows almost every single story of the “martyrs” as he calls them.
“This one also died in the battle! He's married! They brought him here and buried him...He was shot in the battle, you understand. His family brought him here,” he said, pointing at the grave.
“Here’s another martyr. He fought in the battle and was shot.”
3....go away (die). Another missile hits, a military man goes away, ok? Aren't we all human beings?" pic.twitter.com/r5TOxzhXal— Lizzie Phelan (@LizziePhelan) November 1, 2015
However, living in the cemetery among the dead is not so peaceful – the place is often shaken my mortars.
“Every time there's a missile, there are a lot of ‘martyrs’, people go, soldiers go...I'm afraid one day, I won’t find a grave left for me!” Abdo added.
Lizzie Phelan recognized one grave – it belonged to her friend, a well-known actor, Mohamad Rafea - who was reportedly killed by insurgents from the Free Syrian Army and Jabhat Al Nusra, for his vocal support of the Syrian government. His aunt’s grave is also nearby; she was hit by a mortar.
Though the cemetery may be the last place a man would sleep, Abdo says he is not afraid because people lying there are “all his brothers.”
“When I sleep here, I sleep beside our brothers, the martyrs. I don't fear them, they are my brothers, they are my family!” he said.